Midfielder Training for Lacrosse: Becoming Elite
In lacrosse, midfielders are do-it-all players: they play offense, defense, wings, man-up, man-down, and so much more. In order to be an elite lacrosse midfielder, you must put in the proper training. Endurance is the first word that comes to mind when I think of midfielders, as they are constantly running up and down the field.
If you aren’t taking your nutrition and training properly as a midfielder, you will quickly be passed up by players that do. Use these training techniques to enhance your game and become a better player.
1) “Pretend to Play” Drill
I didn’t know how to name this drill, but in my opinion, it is the single most effective drill you can do.
Here’s how it works: go out to a field and put on all of your pads. Then pretend like you’re on a midfield shift and run around the field! It sounds crazy, but think about it: you will be a better midfielder if you practice the movements that you do on the field. So come out of the box with a ball and run to the goal. Then do a few shots on the run. After you shoot, immediately run back like the other team is clearing the ball. Once you get to the defensive end of the field, do a few pushups and run around. Then run as fast as you can back to the offensive side of the field like you’re in transition.
Will you look strange running around the field without any players? Maybe. But when gameday comes around, you’ll score more goals and make more plays, which is well worth the minor embarrassment.
2) Rapid-fire Alley Dodge
What is the most important shot that a midfielder should master? An alley dodge on-the-run shot. No questions asked.
Here’s what you do. Place 30+ (100 would be optimal) lacrosse balls at the top and center of the restraining box. Pick up a ball, run towards the goal, split one direction and shoot on the run. Run back and split the other direction and do the same thing. Repeat until you’re out of lacrosse balls. If you aren’t totally out of breath on this one, you’re doing something wrong.
The cool part about this drill is that it works on your lacrosse skill and fitness, so it’s a nice “bang for your buck” kind of exercise.
3) Interval Sprints
You know that horrible feeling when coach says, “get on the line?” Well right now, I’m asking you to voluntarily “get on the line” and do some sprints. Interval sprints are an incredible workout for midfielders, as they help players with their ability to recover quickly after a full sprint. When you just playa shift of defense, run down the field in transition, and then get the ball passed to you for a dodge, you need to be able to recover quickly.
There are so many different ways to do interval sprints. My personal preference is to do a 100 yard sprint every minute. I start at one side of the field, start my stopwatch, and sprint to the other side of the field. I rest for the remainder of the minute, and then sprint back. Do that 10+ times, and you’ll be tired.
Bonus: Do these drills before every practice. If you can practice at full-speed after doing a workout beforehand, games will be a breeze.